The town of Erebuni and its citadel were founded in 782 BCE by King Argishti I. The town lay around the foot of Arin Berd hill, where the fortress stood. The stronghold was built 65 meters above the town and covered an area of 3 hectares.


Early Excavations

The first material results of the excavation at Arin Berd came in the late 19th century, when a cuneiform inscription was found commemorating the construction of grain storage by Argishti I.  

More systematic excavations at Erebuni began in 1950 and were carried out by joint expeditions of the Soviet Armenia Academy of Science Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Alexander S. Pushkin Fine Arts Museum in Moscow and the Board for the Preservation and Restoration of Architectural Monuments.

From 1950 to 1972 an archeological expedition was led by Konstantine Hovhannisian.  Boris Piotrovsky, who led the expedition at another very important archeological heritage site in Yerevan (Karmir Blur), served as an on-site adviser for this excavation.

During the first stage of excavations (1950–1968), Argishti's palace, court-yards, halls, temples and over 100 rooms were uncovered. Dozens of Urartian and Achaemenid artifacts, such as pottery, earthenware, belt-buckles, bracelets, beads, helmets, arrows, shields, silver coins were uncovered.

The mural fragments found were decorated with important religious themes, including processions of gods, sacred animals, and trees of life, as well as scenes of secular life, displaying hunting, cattle breeding, and crop rearing, combined with geometric and floral patterns. 

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